Former Freddie Mac CFO Named PCAOB’s Chief Auditor

Before joining the audit overseer, Baumann led the now-nationalized Freddie Mac through a massive earnings restatement.
David KatzApril 15, 2009

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced late on Wednesday that Martin F. Baumann, who was the CFO of Freddie Mac from 2003 to 2006 when the mortgage-finance company was attempting to emerge from an accounting scandal, was named chief auditor and director of professional standards of the PCAOB.

Baumann, who joined the PCAOB after resigning from Freddie Mac in 2006, was director of the oversight board’s office of research and analysis. He was tapped as chief auditor following the March 7 departure of Thomas Ray, who joined the PCAOB in 2003.

In 2003, after a 33-year career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, he joined Freddie Mac as its finance chief. Baumann is credited with leading the completion of the company’s earnings restatement and later improvements in its financial reporting.  “Since joining the company in 2003, Marty has helped Freddie Mac complete its earnings restatement, release its 2003 and 2004 financial results on an improving timeline, develop a talented and dedicated accounting policy team, resolve an extraordinary number of accounting policy issues, and improve the transparency of the financial data we provide to investors,”said Richard Syron, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer at the time it announced Baumann’s resignation. Freddie Mac is now under national supervision.

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Previously, Baumann had served as deputy chairman of PWC’s World Financial Services Practice, its global banking Leader, and as it partner-in-charge of the audits of some of PwC’s largest clients.  His clients included Chase Manhattan, Chemical Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Prudential Insurance, and The World Bank, Freddie Mac noted when it hired Baumann.

The main role of the chief auditor is to advise the board on auditing and professional standards related to auditing. “I am truly honored to now lead the professional standard-setting process within the PCAOB, which is so important to the protection of U.S. investors and to the assurance of high quality audits,” Baumann said.